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Physical education (PE) isn’t just about dodgeball and jumping jacks. It’s a prime opportunity to instil lifelong healthy habits in students, setting them on a path to well-being that extends far beyond the lessons. But, how do we make PE more than just exercise and turn it into a springboard for healthy choices? Here are some tips:

1. Make it fun and engaging

  • Variety is key: Offer diverse activities like dance, yoga, team sports, and individual fitness challenges. This caters to different preferences and keeps students motivated.
  • Incorporate games and challenges: Gamify learning with points, rewards, or friendly competition. This adds a fun layer and encourages participation.
  • Embrace technology: Use fitness trackers, heart rate monitors, or educational apps to make learning interactive and data-driven.

2. Go beyond the physical

  • Integrate nutrition lessons: Discuss the connection between food choices and physical performance. Explore healthy recipes and meal-planning strategies.
  • Promote mindfulness and stress management: Teach breathing exercises, meditation techniques, and self-reflection activities to connect physical activity with mental well-being.
  • Emphasise sleep hygiene: Discuss the importance of adequate sleep for recovery, focus, and overall health.

3. Make it sustainable

  • Empower, don’t pressure: Focus on positive reinforcement and personal growth, not competition or unrealistic expectations. Celebrate individual achievements and effort.
  • Connect with families: Encourage families to get involved by sharing activities and resources. Suggest ways they can incorporate physical activity and healthy habits at home.
  • Be a role model: Show your own passion for healthy living. Be active in class, participate in activities, and share your own journey with healthy choices.

Combining online PE resources for a healthy lifestyle 

Online PE platforms, such as the PE Office, can provide engaging lesson plans, schemes of work and videos of elite athletes performing skills to promote healthier lifestyle habits for children. By delivering engaging lessons you can encourage children to continue with healthy patterns, exercise and activity. Take a look at the resources on offer to see what your PE department could take advantage of. Teacher workload can be reduced and lesson standards can be raised.